Skilled Attorneys Handling Division Of Retirement Accounts And Pension Issues

Retirement assets and pensions acquired during the course of a marriage are considered community property in California. That means they will be divided on an equal basis, even if only one spouse contributed to the accounts. Tax-deferred retirement accounts funded entirely with separate assets are not subject to community property division. These accounts often comprise the largest single asset class of many couples, exceeded only by the value of the family home.

Protecting Your Retirement Assets

Fairly dividing retirement assets can be a highly complex undertaking. To protect your rights and interests, the services of an experienced legal team can prove invaluable.

At the Law Office of Peter A. Lauzon in Los Angeles, California, our attorneys work diligently to achieve fair divisions of retirement assets and pensions. We have creative solutions to deal effectively with complex problems and seek to resolve any disputes in a cost-effective manner.

Regarding the division of defined contribution (such as 401(k) and 403(b) tax-deferred plans, traditional and Roth IRAs):

  • If both spouses have accumulated funds in their respective tax-deferred funds, it may be possible for each spouse to retain their accounts. Any difference could be made up by the transfer of other community assets.
  • Another possibility is to obtain a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). This allows tax-deferred accounts to be split and transferred to the spouses without tax liabilities. After arranging for a QDRO to be prepared by a specialist, we will carefully review it to make sure it is fair and accounts for the true value of your share of the accounts.

Defined Benefit Retirement Assets

Many people still have pension plans that pay a set amount to beneficiaries every month upon retirement. Both spouses may be entitled to share these benefits. A specialist will use one of three methods to place a value on a spouse's share. You may be able to obtain a lump-sum payment or an ongoing stream of payments. Our lawyers will advise you regarding your best course of action.

Contact Our Law Firm

Call the Law Office of Peter A. Lauzon at 310-432-7188 or submit an inquiry form to learn more about the division of retirement accounts during divorce.